Jerez : Repsol Honda Day One
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa came within 0.055s of topping the timesheets on the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Spain on Friday.
The 21-year-old from Barcelona was one of only three riders to break into the 1m 40s bracket
having topped the timesheets in the warmer afternoon session, before being pipped at the close by fellow Spaniard Carlos Checa on the Honda LCR.
World Champion Nicky Hayden was also quickly up to speed today, setting the fourth fastest time in the morning session and displaying increased confidence in the set-up of his factory Honda RC212V. The 25-year-old American finished the day just 0.685s from the front, though his time of 1m 41.536s put him in 13th place overall thanks to the extremely close lap times today.
A further hour of practice takes place tomorrow morning ahead of the afternoon's qualifying session. Sunday's 27-lap race begins at 14.00 CET.
Nicky Hayden 13th 1m 41.536s
This morning it was definitely encouraging to be up front at the sharp end and it was fun to be riding back here at Jerez. This afternoon we didn't exactly go backwards but we didn't go forward as much as I'd have liked and everybody else went quite a lot faster. We're definitely a lot closer that we were at the first race in Qatar and I've got a much better feeling on the bike than I did at the first race. Also, the bike seems to be running quite a lot smoother here in the cooler conditions. I just need to try to bust on through that mid 1m 41s bracket and get in amongst the front guys.
We're working on a few things tonight so that I can move up tomorrow and try to get on the front two rows at least.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd 1m 40.906s
I'm reasonably happy with progress today and we improved a lot from the morning as the track temperature rose for the afternoon session. It's only the first day and we're still working on the bike set-up and tyre choice but I have a good feeling on the bike and I hope we can continue to move forward tomorrow and get a good qualifying position. We must work hard for this because the times are so close today and a good grid position will be very important for the start of the race, especially with the tight first corner here. The weather looks as though it will stay dry for the weekend and I'm looking forward to racing on Sunday I'm sure the crowd will be impressive.
Makoto Tanaka - Team Manager
Both riders made a good start in this morning's session which was held in quite cool temperatures. This afternoon the temperature increased a lot and this meant the track conditions changed significantly. Dani kept his rhythm well and managed to improve his lap times he still has to make the final decision on the race tyre tomorrow. Nicky wasn't able to improve so much from his encouraging start this morning and will continue to work on suspension settings tomorrow. I think the qualifying session will be very exciting.